For many of us, road trip is synonymous with “eat all the snacks.” I am certainly included in this group.
However, if you’ve gone down this road before (ha ha), you know that eating all the snacks while sitting in the car all day (or for multiple days), can lead to you feeling pretty crappy when you get to wherever you’re going.
So rather than looking at your next road trip as a snacking free-for-all, try utilizing these 4 tips:
(Prefer video? Scroll down to the bottom).
Have something resembling a plan
I know part of the fun of road trips is spontaneity. You can decide on a whim to wait in line at Red’s in Wiscasset for the world’s best lobster roll. Or you can decide to veer off course for a photo op with the biggest wooden rocking chair the state.
Spontaneity aside, though, you can still spend a few minutes before you leave mapping out how you think or would like the trip to go. Are you in a rush to reach your destination? Do you have a specific restaurant at which you know you’re going to stop? Is there mandatory ice cream involved?
Use as much information as you have to help formulate what the trip is going to be like & then use that to make a game plan for the trip. If you’re having a once-a-year dinner at your favorite place, that’s probably worth indulging in! In which case, where else in the day could you pull back a little bit to “save up” for the indulgence? Other meals could be primarily lean protein & veggies, for example. If you normally overdo it with the snacks, figuring out which 1-2 you really want and which you’re willing to pass up this time (something that’s never as good as you tell yourself it’s gonna be).
Buy snacks in advance
If you generally buy the same snacks for every trip, you might as well buy them before you leave.
First, you’ll cut way down on impulse buys. Instead of walking into that first convenience store wide-eyed at all the possibilities, you’ll be able to make it to the bathroom and back to the car knowing that you’ve got a stash of your faves already with you. Maybe some small treat will still catch your eye but you probably won’t walk out with your arms full of them.
Second, you’ll save a good chunk of money. We all know convenience stores aren’t the cheapest option. They’re the most convenient. So if you already know what you’re going to want, just go to your local Wal-Mart or grocery store or Costco and stock up before you leave.
Third, and probably my favorite benefit of the three, is then you can pre-portion them. Rather than bringing the economy-sized trail mix bag straight into the car and telling yourself you won’t eat the whole thing at once, you can measure out single portions into baggies and not have to worry about it.
Keep snacks out of reach
If you’ve pre-portioned the snacks you bought in advance, this is less of an issue, but if you bought them on the road, do your best to eyeball out a portion and then get the rest away from you! I know how easy it is to play mind games with yourself. And I know how easy it is to ‘accidentally’ eat the entire bag! So avoid this altogether by putting temptations out of reach.
Move a little at every stop
The combination of snacking intermittently & sitting all day can easily lead to us feeling generally ‘blah’ by the time we arrive. Taking a few minutes each rest stop to move intentionally can do a world of good.
I’m not talking full-on workouts here (though my now-husband and I did do that on a road trip once before we got married but it was August in the South and it made for not-so-pleasant stretches of driving in between workouts). I mean a few minutes of stretching to help counteract all the sitting & awkward car positions or a few sets of bodyweight exercises to get the blood flowing & help you feel less like a blob.
Some ideas are:
Do 10 squats and 10 push-ups with your hands on the car.
Park at the far end of the lot and lunge to the bathroom.
Race a traveling companion to the front door.
Not only will you feel better for having moved a bit & gotten your heart rate up, but it might help you opt for healthier snacks or snack more mindfully!